Who raised Jesus from the dead?

by Blotty 98 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Jeffro

    Disillusioned JW:

    the other instead considers that consciousness is separate from the brain and can influence brain activity independently of the brain

    Of course, honest readers would be careful to note that the source doesn’t say ‘independent of any aspect of the physical body’. It could refer to distinctions between the cerebrum and the cerebellum or elsewhere in the nervous system. None of this lends any actual support to the superstitious notion of ‘souls’. But I suspect a good old bait-and-switch on the breeze. 😂

  • Jeffro

    Disillusioned JW:

    I am especially fascinated by the portion of the Newsweek article which the following.
    '"The most interesting aspect of this is [the patient] starts to have full memories of everything they have done and all their thoughts and intentions toward other people throughout their entire life," he said
    Firstly, Newsweek is not a science journal. Aside from that, a person having an impression that they ‘have full memories of everything they have done’ is obviously arbitrary and subjective, since it may simply seem that way, and they obviously wouldn’t remember what they don’t remember. What seems like a significant flood of memories could simply be interpreted as ‘everything’. At most, this would be limited to events in long term memory to the exclusion of most of a person’s experiences of mundane routine in between significant experiences (though ‘significant’ in this sense is not the same as or limited to ‘significant events’ as one might mark on a calendar). It also could not be concluded that all of the memories would be accurate. Human memory isn’t like videotape or computer memory. I think the woo peddlers would also love misrepresenting the intended meaning of statements such as “gives access to dimensions of reality they otherwise did not have access to”. It would therefore be best not to read too much into such sensationalised phrasing.
  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    @ Jeffro,

    You made the following claims on this thread:

    1."No one raised Jesus from the Dead

    2. the 'gospels' are widely regarded by scholars as historical, are simply false

    3. None of that has any basis in reality whatsoever. (conscious soul)

    4. Beliefs about consciousness independent of a functioning physical body are just made up nonsense

    experiences that are no more ‘real’ than a dream

    5. This is a plain old argument from ignorance.

    6. I don’t need to offer any speculative alternatives to your superstitions.

    7. claims...that the 'gospels' are widely regarded by scholars as historical, are simply false.

    Many of these claims are demonstratably false. On the consciousness issue - when offfered strong circumstantial evidence of consciousness existing outside the body you refuse to even consider it. I am not attacking you here, just describing in a nutshell your position.

    You seem to mock and hold in disdain anything that is not material or physical. I think that is a fair assessment of your position.

    A prominent atheist evolutionary biologist describes the position of materialists:

    “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”1

    – Richard Lewontin

    When talking to committed atheists, it is obvious that this is the template their mind works within. Again, I'm not being derogatory, just stating an observation. Many atheists have no trouble openly stating their philosophical position.

    We all have the same evidence. However it is apparent that atheists have somehow attempted to restrict their brains from reasoning on things that might lead to a supernatural conclusion.

    Is this where you are at Jeffro? You cannot consider evidence that might leads to a supernatural conclusion because it violates your ideology or belief system? I think so.

    I have some questions for you: If you are nothing more that a sack of chemicals and copying mistakes as atheists claim:

    1.. How can you be sure that you are reasoning correctly?

    2. Since brain chemistry is different for each person, how can you be sure that logic is the same for you as well as someone from China who lives on a different diet?

    The certitude that your logic is a reliable guide has no basis in happenstance materialism (your worldview) as far as I can tell. Maybe you could tell me why you have so much faith in your reasoning?

    Christians have reasoning rooted in the God of Truth. Truth is what reasoning is. And, truth is important and does exist. Becuse God is true, reasonable and "changeth not" , I can be certain that my logic would be the same in the United States as it would in other countries, palnets, solar systems etc.

    But if your logic is a product of accidents, explosions and and copying mistakes, how can you be sure of anyting?

    Again, this is not an attack on your person. Christians have been debating with unbelievers for 2000 years. It has a very long and historical tradition. We conquored the greatest empire in the world with noting more than reason and the power of our testimony.

    You should consider the atheist / christian book club I mentioned earlier. There, Christians and Atheists get along great and try to refute each others' position. They have a lot of fun and truly like each other.

    Recently they completed a segment called "Christianity on Trial". They just completed a segment called "Atheism on Trial".

    In this segment, Mark Lanier is a Trial Lawyer who speaks on the topic of the nature of evidence. To avoid the lenghty introduction, go to time stamp 32:30 on the video below:


  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Sometimes the words of Richard Lewontin are hard to understand correctly. The following might be helpful regarding Sea Breeze's quote of Lewontin. The quoted words of Lewontin are from an article of Lewontin called "Billions and Billions of Demons" which was published in the "NY Review of Books" dated January 9, 1997. Lewontin's article was a review of Carl Sagan's book called The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. That book by Sagan is copyright 1996. I own a copy of that book by Sagan and I have read much of it and I am very impressed by it. The book talks about many unscientific beliefs that many have, including the belief that demons and other spirits haunt our world. The book is also about using the methods of science to discover what is really real and to identify those ideas which are merely superstitions. It also about defending science from attacks by those those promote supernaturalism.

    [The back cover of my copy of Sagan's book says the following. "How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don't understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience, New Age thinking, and fundamentalist zealotry and the testable hypotheses of science? ...]

    Regarding Lewontin's quoted words of "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs ..." the following sentence in Lewontin's article immediately precedes those words. "Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural." Creationist sources which quote Lewontin's comment about "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs ..." typically leave out that sentence which immediately precedes it. But I think that sentence about the "the real struggle between science and the supernatural" is important to understanding what Lewontin meant. Regarding "scientific claims that are against common sense" I think Lewontin means that sometimes that which is common sense is actually false, such as that everything outside of the Earth (such as all the stars) goes around the Earth, and that scientific claims include the correct claim that the Earth goes around its Sun.

    Furthermore, the creationist sources tend to leave out the following from Lewontin, which immediately follows Lewontin's words of "... for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." It is also important to read those words, namely the following. "The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen."

    My source for the extended quote of Lewontin is http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Nave-html/Faithpathh/lewontin.html (see also https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/107915.Richard_C_Lewontin ).

    The following is thus how I understand Lewontin's words. There is a battle between the human forces which cherish science and defend it and between the human forces which cherish the concept of supernaturalism and defend it. Many of those who promote the concept of supernaturalism do so by attacking much of science, much of scientific knowledge and even of the scientific method which made such knowledge possible. Those who believe in God are capable of believing in anything [for example some young Earth creationists say 'God made photons en route in their travel to Earth, which made it look like they traveled a much longer distance than they actually did and made it look like the universe is much older than it really it is.']. Such God-believers due to their ability to believe anything (including believing in demons and immortal human souls and supernatural miracles) would thus destroy science if they had their way of imposing their supernaturalistic views upon subjects of science. As result we scientists and naturalistic lovers of science must not give them any leeway, any wiggle room, any opening, for their ideas, that would allow them to claim something happened by God doing a miracle. In other words, in that sense we must not "allow a Divine Foot in the door". That is because if we 'threw to them a bone' (metaphorically speaking), and 'opened the door a tiny crack for them' (metaphorically speaking), they would then abuse that 'opening' (that conversational opportunity), in such a way as render science meaningless and thus to destroy the field of study called science. It would be like giving them the means to make a 'wedge' (which the creationists could then use for the purpose of promoting "intelligent design') which the creationists would use to undermine the theory of biological evolution and of cosmological evolution. I also think that Lewontin is saying that the only type of mechanisms/means that science is capable of testing are naturalistic (or materialistic) ones, not supernatural ones, and thus scientists must stick to only proposing materialistic ones.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    https://groups.google.com/g/talk.origins/c/3sKDOjejTQE has an interesting discussion about Lewontin's review of Sagan's book. A source indicates that Lewontin's article was much longer than the quotes from it, namely that the article was on pages 28–32 in the New York Review of Books, issue dated January 9, 1997. In contrast the quote was only from page 31. I hope to find the entire article so that I can read it in full.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    I think that James Tabor has the correct idea of the earliest Christians considered to be meaning of resurrection and the type of the resurrection they thought Jesus had. He describes it at https://jamestabor.com/why-people-are-confused-about-the-earliest-christian-view-of-resurrection-of-the-dead/ .

    He says that the Jews original concept of resurrection was that the fleshly body of the dead would be reconstituted and recombined with the spirit/soul (which was in Sheol and existed as a shade while the fleshly body was dead). He further says that at the time of Jesus Christ however, the Jewish view and the view of the early Christians was not that view. Instead it was the view that an incorruptible spirit body would be created by God and combined with the spirit/soul of the person who had died. Except for the idea of the persistence of the spirit/soul it seems to me to be essentially identical to the view of the WT and the JW governing body regarding their teaching of the resurrection/recreation of the anointed ones. James Tabor says the following.

    'Matthew says that at the death of Jesus many of the dead came out of their graves and walked about in the city (Matthew 27: 52). Peter raises a widow and Paul revives a young man who fell from a window (Acts 20:9-12).

    What is important to note about all these stories of “resurrection” is that these people returned from death to live again, but they then they subsequently died again. This notion of a temporary return from death, basically a revival of a corpse, is not the view of resurrection of the dead that Jews in the time of Jesus believed and that followers of Jesus were affirming about him.

    The Hebrew Bible says very little about resurrection of the dead in this more extended sense. The single unambiguous passage is from Daniel, but it is a key to understanding the concept at its core ....

    The metaphor of “sleeping in the dust of the earth” and then awakening captures precisely the core idea of resurrection of the dead. The bodies of the dead have long ago decayed and turned to dust, so this is no resuscitation of a corpse, nor is it even Ezekiel’s vision of reclothing dry bones with sinew and skin. This is an entirely new concept that has begun to develop in Jewish thought and Jews like Jesus, as well as the Pharisees, believed that on the “last day,” the dead would be raised. What people mix up is the literal idea of resuscitation or the “standing up” of a corpse, and the fully developed Jewish idea of resurrection at the end of days. The latter does not involve collecting the dust, the fragmentary decaying bones, or other remains of the body and somehow restoring their form. According to the book of Revelation, even the “sea” gives up the dead that are in it—which can hardly mean one must search for digested bodies that the fish have eaten and eliminated—as unpleasant as the thought may be (Revelation 20:11-15).

    Corpse revival is not resurrection of the dead–at least in its classic sense of what happens to all humankind in the end of days.

    ... The fully developed view of resurrection of the dead among Jews in the time of Jesus was that at the end of days the dead would come forth from Sheol/Hades—literally the “state of being dead,” and live again in an embodied form. The question was—what kind of a body? And it was there that the debates began. The Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, poked fun at the Pharisees, who affirmed it. How could God raise the dead—what if a woman had had seven husbands in her life, each of whom died and she kept remarrying—in the resurrection whose wife would she be? Jesus was confronted with this question in the gospels (Luke 20:34-40). His answer was clear and unambiguous—when the dead come forth they will be in a transformed body, much like the angels, not the literal physical bodies that they once inhabited—there will be no “marriage or giving in marriage” as there will be no “male or female” in terms of physical sexual gender. There will be no birth, no death, but a new transformed life.

    Paul is the crystal clear on this point. Some of his converts in the city of Corinth were denying the resurrection of the dead. They were most likely thinking along the lines of Plato—if the immortal soul is freed from the prison of the body at death, why would it ever return to the body? And yet that is precisely what Paul defended—a return to a body—but as he makes very clear, it is not a natural or “physical body”—the one he calls the body of “dust,” but a spiritual body—literally “wind body,” (pneumatikos), that is transformed and not subject to death (1 Corinthians 15:42-50).

    Resurrection of the dead, according to both Paul and Jesus, has nothing to do with the former physical body.

    ... This has everything to do with the earliest Christian view of Jesus’ resurrection, the resurrection hope his followers had, and our Talpiot tombs. That is why the presence of bones—even the bones of Jesus, next to statements of faith in resurrection, were not a contradiction. The confusion has come over the accounts in the gospels of the empty tomb of Jesus, and his “appearances” to his followers following his resurrection–all of which were written after 70 CE when the links with the faith of the Jerusalem community had been severed.

    The evidence we have found in the Talpiot tombs is primary evidence of what the first Christians believed about resurrection faith. It is not theology, but it is firm archaeological testimony that allows us for the first time to reconstruct the full picture. The tomb evidence agrees completely with the teachings of both Jesus and Paul about the new spiritual body. The confusion has come in the gospels because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the empty tomb. There was an empty tomb—but it was the first tomb, the temporary one in which Joseph of Arimathea placed the corpse of Jesus until the Passover and Sabbath were past. The Talpiot Jesus tomb was not empty—the “Jesus son of Joseph” ossuary held his bones, and as we will see, we have been able to even do DNA tests on those remains. This is no threat to the original Christian resurrection faith, it is actually an affirmation of that faith. Paul knows nothing of that first empty tomb. He knows that Jesus died and was buried and on the third day he was raised up. He then appeared to his followers, not as a resuscitated corpse, but in Paul’s words, as a “life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). These words of Paul are our earliest testimony to faith in Jesus’ resurrection—until now. We now have testimony by his original followers that predates Paul, and predates the gospels by many decades. Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John were written between 70-100 CE. The names on the books are traditional. They are not included in the text but added later as “titles” to the manuscripts. In other words, Mark does not begin, “I Mark, having witnessed these things, do hereby write…” Nor does Matthew, Luke, or John. In that sense all four gospels are pseudonymous—we don’t know their real authors.

    ... What Luke and John introduce here, namely that Jesus appeared in the same body that had been placed in the tomb represents a major departure from early Christian resurrection faith. This understanding of Jesus’ resurrection has led to endless confusion on the part of sincere Christians who do believe Jesus was raised from the dead. These stories are secondary and legendary. We know this because Mark, who wrote decades earlier, does not know them, and Paul, who is still earlier says plainly that the new body is not “flesh and blood” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

    The explanation provided by James Tabor is excellent and makes a great deal of sense. It explains why a number of biblical passages are worded the way they are, including the contradictions between some of them. It explains what Jesus meant by the resurrection and why the resurrected ones do not marry. It also is fully compatible with atheistic naturalist views and enables an excellent atheistic naturalist explanation of what happened to the dead fleshly body of Jesus, of why the earliest Christians believed that Jesus was raised from the dead if his fleshly body hadn't really been raised bodily from the grave, and how Christianity could have spread (allegedly rapidly) after the death of Jesus if the fleshly body of Jesus did not come back to life. WOW!

    I read Tabor's article months ago, but I don't think I grasped the full significance till now. Now I can provided a comprehensive complete scientific naturalist explanation of what happened in regards earlier Christian views about their idea of the resurrection and of what really happened to Christ. All of the 'puzzle pieces' available to me about the matter now can be fitted perfectly together by me. Yea!

  • Jeffro
    I’m sure fisherman will be along any moment to provide evidence of souls, the specific mechanism for how they interact with bodies and how he ruled out any other potential alternatives. 😂
  • Jeffro


    Many of these claims are demonstratably false

    😂 most of your list are duplicates and none are demonstrably false.

    You have not demonstrated that souls exist or that it is even possible

    Your position remains an argument from ignorance, and that ignores any potential alternatives

    And it is in fact the case that the gospels are not widely agreed to be historical by scholars, with only Jesus’ baptism and execution have broad agreement.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    James Tabor also makes the claim that Jesus was never considered God in the earliest Christian faith! See https://jamestabor.com/was-jesus-god-in-earliest-christian-faith-the-answer-is-simple-and-clear/ . There he says the following.

    '.. the late Jimmy Dunn, Christology in the Making (Eerdmans 1966) ... shows that nowhere in the New Testament documents is the Lord Jesus confused with YHVH the God of Israel–in terms of Being. Alex Finkelson, who writes the blog “Scribes of the Kingdom,” sets things out very clearly below.

    ... The following is Alex’s post–please read and circulate.

    The Lord among lords: Christ’s imperial cult '

    That link at https://scribesofthekingdom.com/2021/11/13/the-lord-among-lords-christs-imperial-cult/ makes a strong case that Paul did not consider Jesus to be God and that he did not consider Jesus to be Lord in the sense of "the LORD God" (Yahweh/Jehovah) That article says in part the following.

    'In the first place, Christ’s status as “Lord” need not identify him as the Adonai of the Hebrew scriptures (i.e. Yahweh). On the contrary, Paul and other early Christian writers recognize Jesus as κύριος insomuch as he has come into possession of the earthly political order. “Lord” in this context is a practical and not an ontological designation.3 Christ receives God’s lordship but is not himself the Lord God. Rather, allowed to rule in his father’s stead for a time, the prince remains the monarch’s son.

    ... The narrative logic of these texts is not that Jesus became the Lord God, but that the Lord God entrusted to him his own lordly authority. For these first Christians, God’s shocking action to exalt the crucified Christ as Lord—that is, as imperial sovereign over the nations—conformed to the mythic skeleton latent in Psalm 110:1—”Yahweh says to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.'” What was at stake in this lordship, the lordship of Christ, therefore, was not Christ’s identity as God but his function as God in these last days of the present evil age. Now installed as God’s right-hand man, Christ alone would “shatter kings” and “execute judgement among the nations” on the day of God’s wrath (Psalm 110:5-6). He alone would exert and establish God’s rule, God’s judgement, and God’s mercy within the world by subjugating “every ruler and every authority and every power” (1 Cor 15:24, cf. Rev 2:27-27, Mt 28:18). Once this task had been accomplished—the messianic kingdom firmly rooted in the inhabited world—Christ would then hand over the kingdom to its true owner, God the Father, and thus dispose of the authority he had been given when the purpose of delegated divine lordship had finally exhausted (1 Cor 15:27-28). As in his obedient death, therefore, Christ would again prove to be a submissive son—first by dutifully managing his father’s estate (i.e. Israel’s kingdom) and second by humbly ceding the property back to God once every enemy had been defeated.'

  • Jeffro

    For Disillusioned JW… earlier I said:

    It’s all a pitiful argument from ignorance no different to thinking lightning must be from the gods. As such, it is basically the ‘god of the gaps’ argument.

    I didn’t mean to imply that this was in response to the information you provided. I meant that the superstitions of Sea Breeze about souls are not supported by the information you provided, and belief in souls remains an argument from ignorance. Sorry if there was any confusion.

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